Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Playboy takes on Indonesia politics

As Playboy describes Indonesia as a dynamic and exciting market, the country's politic is heated up ahead of a plan to publish local edition of the magazine. Politicians, religious groups, social experts, and sex educators are debating fiercely on the magazine's strong pornography image even though the publisher promised there will be no nude photos.
Pornography is illegal, but widely available. That's a fact. For Him Magazine (FHM), Playboy's competitor, is a hit. We could easily buy the magazine from street vendors. There are also Indonesian magazines such as Matra and Popular with similar contents. For sure, competition in the man magazine whould even more stiff whenever Playboy hit the newsstands in March.
So what's all the fuss over Playboy?
Fahri Hamzah, deputy secretary general of Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (PKS), Islamic-based party and one of key allies of president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, warned government to prevent the publication of Playboy. (But the publisher claimed he had secured the license already. Who gave the license? Department of Law and Human Rights for the company's license, Investment Coordinating Board for investment license, and others)
But PKS member in the house commission VIII Yoyoh Yusroh said as long as the design of the magazine will not like the US edition, Playboy could be published. "But if the design will be the like of US edition, I will lead people to the street," she said to Detik.com.
Dim Syamsuddin, Chairman of Muhammadiyah, the second-largest Moslem organization in Indonesia, urged government to take stern action to prevent social conflict.
Masdar Farid Masudi, executive at Nahdlatul Ulama, the largest Moslem organization, argued against the publication of Playboy, saying the magazine is not relevant with the country's effort to get out of the crisis. "Indonesia needs information that could motivate people to get out of the crisis," he said.
But there are people who tend to accept the publication with certain conditions. "With strict distribution, only those who mature enough could buy the magazine," said Sirikit Syah, founder of Media Consumers Institute (LKM) Surabay, East Java as quoted by Republika.
Who is the publisher anyway?
M. Ponti Corolus is the publisher and director. Mr Corolus told Banjarmasin Post that he was deputy secretary general of Partai Demokrat (the party of president SBY). But the party executive denied the claim. Wow!
Last year, Indonesian model Tiara Lestari (photo, some called her the South East Asia's Naomi Campbel) made headlines as cover girl and posing nude for Playboy on August 2005 edition. And just recently Balinese was shocked with two girls, Diah and Putu, posing nude for XXX websites.




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